Just over a month ago, we lost our friend and colleague Ed Brayton at the age of 52.
For those who didn’t know him, Ed helped launch The Panda’s Thumb and Freethought Blogs. More recently, he was writing on Patheos. He shaped the world of online atheism in a way very few people ever have. He was also someone who also supported organizations behind the scenes; I worked with him at Foundation Beyond Belief where he helped out with several charity initiatives.
He wrote in his final post,
I am not afraid of death, but I am afraid to die painfully and with suffering. My hope is that hospice will put me on a morphine or dilaudid drip and knock me out so I don’t feel anything, then I can just slip away.
My greatest hope is that after I’m gone the world continues to become more fair, just and equal. What else could we possibly hope for and work for? I urge you all to keep fighting the good fight for those core values…
Don’t be sad about this, be hopeful. I got to make the decision myself and spare others from that awful task. I did it while still of sound mind, if not body. That means the world to me. I maintained my self-determination until the end.
In closing, let me just say thank you again. You made my life better, richer and more fulfilled and who could ask for more? Goodbye, one and all. I will miss you as I hope you will miss me. Be good to each other along this incredible journey.
Later this evening, at 6:00p (EDT), there will be a memorial service in his honor, hosted by CFI Michigan. Anyone interested in attending the virtual service needs to RSVP just so the group can ensure it has the proper capacity on Zoom.
Ed was a member of CFI Michigan’s Advisory Board and later became a plaintiff in a lawsuit challenging Michigan’s marriage laws which banned Secular Celebrants (like himself) from performing wedding ceremonies that “counted.” The state later dropped any opposition to the lawsuit.
“Ed told me on many occasions, that he was never ‘a joiner’ but he was incredibly grateful that he found a home in the CFI Michigan community. Ed was a central figure in our secular family for the past decade. He has touched countless lives and worked tirelessly to make the world a better place. His knowledge, compassion, and wit, will be dearly missed.”– Jennifer Beahan, CFI MI Executive Director.
To that end, Ed requested that anyone who wanted to could make a donation in his memory to CFI Michigan.